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Qatar’s largest mosque has once again banned children from attending evening and taraweeh prayers this Ramadan after receiving a number of complaints from worshippers, Al Sharq reports.

During the first few days of the fasting month, kids could be seen milling about the Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab Mosque’s men’s prayer area. A makeshift space had been allotted for females with small children to pray downstairs near the women’s prayer area.

But the noise has proved to be too much, Sheikh Malallah Bin Abdul Rahman Al Jaber, the Mosque Directorate in charge of the Imam Mohammad Bin Abdul Wahab Mosque, told the newspaper.

Gulf News translates:

“We are sorry to make this decision…We are forced to impose the ban both at the men’s prayer hall and at the women’s prayer hall, to ensure that worshippers are not annoyed by the brouhaha of underage children. We urge all parents to comply with the new rule.”

Last Ramadan, a similar ban caused controversy among some worshippers, some of whom could be seen arguing with security staff who would not permit entrance to children. 

At the time, some Qatar residents hailed the decision, saying it allowed for more peaceful prayers, while others said children should be exposed to visiting mosques from a young age.

A few suggested that the mosque create a play area of nursery for parents to temporarily leave their kids while performing their prayers.

Al Jaber added that all worshippers should respect the mosque by turning off their mobiles, placing their shoes in the shoe racks, not bringing food or beverages into the facility and not disturbing other worshippers. Security staff will be dispatched to deal with any violators, he said.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala

Thousands of people turned out at the Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab Grand Mosque and mosques elsewhere in the country last night to observe a midnight prayer.

Tuesday night marked the 27th night of the Muslim month of fasting, which is commonly believed to be Laylat al-Qadr (the night of power). And despite previous restrictions, children were in abundance at the State Mosque.

Did you go out to pray? As Ramadan draws to close, what will you miss most?

Credit: Photos by Omar Chatriwala

Many Qatar residents have been dismayed to find that there actually is a place in Doha that prohibits the presence of children.

Surprisingly, that place is not a five-star restaurant, but Qatar’s new state-of-the-art Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab Mosque, also known as the State Mosque.

The merits of the ban, which technically has been around for months but is just now being enforced, is already being debated on Twitter:


Two nights ago, we also were sorely disappointed to find our children were not welcome at the mosque.

On the women’s side, our toddler and I were turned away from sunset prayers (when the mosque was fairly empty). When I protested, I was offered a prayer rug and shown to a corner near the ablution room, but was still not allowed to go upstairs to pray.

Omar fared better carrying our infant on the men’s side, with the guard mentioning the ban but laughing about it, but was still lectured by another man attending prayers about bringing a baby into the mosque.

Thoughts on this?

Credit: Top photo by Omar Chatriwala